Calls to sort flooding hot spot after heavy rain cuts off rural villages
PUBLISHED: 13:52 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 January 2018
Residents in two rural villages cut off by flood waters after the week's heavy rainfall are urging the highways authority to find a permanent solution to a persistent flooding hot spot.
The B1146 Dereham Road in Scarning had to be closed last week to through traffic after it flooded under the A47 bridge.
An X1 bus also got stuck on a grass verge under the bridge after the driver tried to manouevre around a car that had broken down in the water.
The road is now passable but the bus company has not run any buses through Scarning and Wendling for a week, although it hopes to resume the normal route tomorrow, Thursday, January 4.
Bus user Niki Clark said she had been stranded in Wendling all week. “I rely on public transport as I don’t drive and use the X1 three or four times a week to go to Dereham,” she said.
“But as the roads are poor and liable to heavy flooding the buses can’t always get through.”
Paul Knock put the blame on recent resurfacing. He said: “I’ve lived down Podmore Lane for nearly two years and it’s never flooded under the bridge until after the road was resurfaced. They didn’t cover the drains during resurfacing so have blocked them with tar and stones.
“There are still lots of loose stones on the road because of the poor quality of the surface. They are like flying missiles when cars go over them.”
READ MORE: 11 flood alerts remain in place as Storm Eleanor hits
Scarning Parish Council is to raise the issue again with Norfolk County Council Highways.
“We have reported it to highways several times,” said chairman Wendy Brown. “They come out and unblock the drains but then it happens again.
“We will be putting pressure on them as it has been going on for several years.
“We appreciate that they don’t have the money to do everything and maybe we are not as high priority as other areas. But it is very annoying for the people who are affected by it.”
She said they had successfully petitioned for the bus to come through Scarning and Wendling after several years without a service.
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “We have visited the site and currently the drainage system there is working and we will return in about a week’s time to ensure the system continues to work as well as it can.”
Stranded between two floods
Households in Podmore Lane were completely cut off, sandwiched between the flood on the Dereham Road and the ford which was impassable.
Raquel Harbour said there was no way out apart from on foot.
“It was frightening for people who couldn’t get out but the most frustrating thing was people driving in and out to see flooding, and trying to drive through it and getting stuck,” she said.
She believes the ford and the river are badly in need of dredging.
“It’s not been done for a long time and it hampers water running away,” she said.
“The whole lane was stranded with several elderly people and combined with a power cut it was horrible.
“I’ve lived here since I was a child and it’s the worst I’ve seen it.
“The top of Podmore Lane now looks like a mud bath. We really need some signs either side saying ‘Caution, please check depth stick’ which people can’t see.”